If people consider wild animals, among the unsurprising favorites is the squirrel. Squirrels are cute and amusing daredevils; what is not to adore? Regrettably, when they decide they would like to reside in your house, the cuteness melts away from the face of torn insulation, gnawed wiring and soiled attic spaces.
The squirrels we are familiar with in eastern North America are technically eastern gray or just grey squirrels. They are smaller rodents who spend their time between the trees and the ground. Squirrels hide their foraged food in small caches to consume through leaner times, and they’ve surprisingly excellent memories when it comes to finding these caches again. Squirrels have a tendency to breed twice a year and give birth to small litters of pups, usually between 2 and 5. Surprisingly, in spite of their constant risk of automobile experiences, squirrels can live an average of 12.5 years in the wild and above 20 in captivity.
Why They’re Pests
But human inhabitants have left the squirrels with few alternatives. They could either stay on the ground and be consumed by a predator (your dog or cat would gladly take on the responsibility), fight fiercely among themselves for the few accessible trees, or adapt and use the “trees” people make: our attics and walls that are hollow. Not many folks are lovers of squatters in their houses, so it is only natural to want freeloading squirrels out of your house also.
Are They Dangerous?
As any suburban road can tell you, we are FAR more dangerous to squirrels than they are to us. However, like all creatures, squirrels will do what they have to to protect themselves if they feel threatened. A frightened squirrel can and will bite, so it is safest for you to never allow the squirrel to come in close contact.
Squirrels can do severe harm to your property when they take up residence. They like to dig into insulation to make nests for their own families, and they are able to definitely create a foul odor with their droppings and urine. In addition, squirrels, like all rodents, have to gnaw on things to keep their teeth filed down. They will gladly gnaw on any part of your dwelling, even steel piping and electrical wires. Over a quarter of fires of unknown origin are believed to have been caused by rodents gnawing on cables.
Do They Carry Disease?
Despite all of the things you’ve learned about squirrels and diseases, squirrels seldom act as disease vectors. It is difficult for squirrels to capture rabies because their size means they’re more likely to die from a rabid animal’s assault than live to pass the virus on.
Like most wild animals, squirrels are vulnerable to and have a tendency to carry parasites. Infected fecal matter and infestations of parasites like fleas, ticks and mites are worries to take into consideration when trying to get rid of a squirrel population. Squirrel poop is much smaller than Opossum Poop and much harder to identify due to its likeness of rat feces.
Because it can be quite difficult to tell exactly where all of your squirrel squatters are living, live trapping is the best option to keep your home from suddenly getting an odor of dead squirrel. A professional wildlife removal team can help greatly in the process of trapping and resolving your issue squirrels. Professional removal experts can also recommend steps to take to make certain any lingering squirrels can safely escape your home while keeping new ones from entering. After it’s certain all of the squirrels have left your home, the same wildlife experts can help you to squirrel proof your house so that you don’t have any new surprise roommates.